Saturday, March 23, 2013

Across the Universe Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   At the end of the day I always go back to young adult, it is meant to be. This is Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Here is the synopsis given by Barnes and Noble website:

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends—and planet—behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.
Someone tried to murder her.
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest's rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship's cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

   A friend of mine from high school who loves to read as much as I do recommended this series. I've never read a young adult space travel/ sci-fi book so I guessed this was a good book to start.

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
    Ohh myy goosh the feels. Right there. In my chest. Hold on a moment and let me take a moment to recover... Alright I'm good. Okay I don't usually watch/read much about space travel (other than watching Doctor Who, of course) so I was a little hesitant to start it. But I'm glad that a friend of mine read and recommended it because if I saw this at the store I probably would not even have given it a second glance (especially since the B&N edition is not the pretty cover the rest of the world has).
    Ms. Revis had to create a world in a ship, and I think she did an exceptional job. Not only in creating it, but having to invent a history, a new technology, a new society and standards, and a conflict all within its 10 mile metal walls. And I'll admit, it took me a really long time to get used to the confined space (which even made me a little claustrophobic whilst reading), in the long run she did a remarkable job. When a writer is able to have the reader have the same emotions as the character, they're doing something right. 
     I enjoyed Revis' writing style. It wasn't awkward like some young adult authors can be, it was an easy and smooth read, which made AtU--after getting past the first 200 pages which were hard to get into-- an enjoyable story. At first I found AtU more the story about Elder, but I like how Revis structured the book by jumping chapters between Elder and Amy. I would find that really hard to do, to keep the story at a steady pace and have only the important scenes included and have everything ultimately connect.
     I need to talk about the society within the Godspeeds walls. They're flat, unemotional, static, practically brainless, without will, in a twisted way--utopian. They don't think for themselves and don't question the higher power because they don't see any reason to. I won't say why they're like this, but I feel that the existence of them on this small (compared to the universe that is) ship made Amy's alienation among them really frightening. Not gothic ghost or horrific murderer lunacy, but the submission and voiceless souls makes the Godspeed a really scary place to be trapped. People on Earth--in at most first world societies--have the advantage to live in a society where government seeks the well being of the people, but even if they fail, there are people in society who would be willing to speak up for those who need help. But to live in a society where the government and the people won't speak up for you, won't defend you when you need it most, makes it more terrifying than real horror from thrillers. Human nature is the most frightening thing in literature because unlike monsters in fantasy, sci-fi or any fiction, people with no moral ground, selfish hearts, or any evil trace in their souls than good can be found anywhere after putting down your book.
    Harley is my favorite character. I can't even give a reason. He's the first one that comes to mind when I think about all of the characters; I felt he had the most depth to him. Honestly I wish I had a friend like Harley, who saw life in another light other than what he was raised and taught. Wow, maybe that's my reason. Elder and Amy were alright, but I found their inconsistency lacking as admirable protagonists.
     The ending reveals a ton of twists I wasn't expecting (not all good, check spoilers down below) but not all bad. The only thing I argue was the ending chapter/ last page wasn't as cliffhanging as most young adult novels tend to be. I wonder if at the time Revis suspected the book wouldn't be a hit and figured it should remain a novel, therefore giving most but not all the conclusions to Amy's adventure. But I sort of like that in a series, it's refreshing. 

I give this book 4/5 stars. I really want to give it 5 stars, but it took me waaay too long to get into it (about 200 pages...). I definitely would recommend it! Can't wait to finish the series!

Author's Quote:
“I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one.” 
― Beth Revis, Across the Universe

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read the book yet, so don't read this section)
    I really need to argue against Orion. I feel that Revis just dropped a bomb with him being the murderer. Maybe since I read this book in one sitting, reading it really fast, I probably didn't catch all the little "signs" of Orion being bad. Technically Orion only was seen by Elder or Amy, but he was such a minor character as it was, I didn't think more of him. Like Steela for example, I didn't know why Revis mentioned her if for just that one meeting in the beginning, but then she brought her back in the end so it all worked out.
    Okay, I don't like near the end when Orion is about to tell Amy the "truth" and Elder's all, "I won't tell her" then two pages later he's like, "IT WAS ME!!!!" Alright not exactly like that but he did contradict himself in such a short amount of time it sort of ruined the ending for me. If anything, I was expecting it to be the cliffhanger. Instead it leaves them hopeful for their relationship which is nice and all, but I don't know, maybe it's just not what most writers would have done. Which isn't bad... I don't even know why it bothers me >_<
    The rape scene threw me off. It was the couple doing it like five feet from them that probably bothered me the most about it, not even that it was three against one. Also one of the guys was all, "I don't want to have sex with you" then a minute later he's saying he does (not Luthe but one of the Feeders; contradicting her character's words vs. their actions again! not liking this pattern). Oh and Luthe! He doesn't appear after about half way through, after the rape scene, so I'm curious what his role will be in later in the series. (Foreshadow next antagonist in A Million Suns???) I hope Elder gets his revenge because Revis slightly touches on it when Amy is "drugged" and tells him she was attacked, but it never comes back up again. I'm the chick-flick, hopeless romantic type so I love when guys defend their girl. 
    When Eldest revealed that he, Orion and Elder were clones, I was shocked. Why? It made sense after Eldest explained it... Seriously sometimes I feel I'm the slow/paranoid type of reader. It's either one or the other for me when I read, and in this case, I was slow. I mean, both Eldest and Elder have the same access code which is dependent on the person's DNA, and they looked similar! I believe when Elder was thinking of the possibility of being related to Eldest, Elder thought of Orion being similar looking to them too-- Revis you sneaky foreshadower you. ;) Also when the Plague was revealed to be a sham account in their history, I was sad yet actually interested to know that part of their history. I especially began to become interested in their history when Amy went to the Records Hall near the end and began to trace Ed's descendants to the lady who died in the Plague (something with a B). 
    One thing that I didn't get was when Elder apparently let out Amy. Was it when Doc's back was turned and he was trying to tell Eldest about Elder being down in the cyro level? Since that was the first time Elder saw Amy since Orion revealed the fourth level to the ship like minutes before discovery. I guess since I didn't notice it reading when Elder was doing it, so when Orion was all: "Ooo Amy wanna hear a secret, your boyfriend--" it was very anti-climatic. I read it without giving it the importance Revis probably meant for it. I tried to reread it and find the spot but I couldn't find it and I needed a break from the book. (With the whole reading in 10 hours, lemme tell you when I'm motivated...) ;)
     Overall, well I may have spoken more about the bad, I really did enjoy and want to finish this series. One day!

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel


  1. Replies
    1. :D
      I'm waiting for the next two so hopefully I'll have their reviews soon! I hope I meet some cool new characters! :0)